Oral History Interview with Matsuye Yokoi
Issei female, born May 18, 1900 to parents who once were wealthy but lost their entire fortune and property. Matsuyeï¿½s father came to America to recoup his fortune by buying farmland in Florin, California and the Walnut Grove area. He returned to Japan in the 1920s and Matsuye attended school there until age thirteen. She had extensive training in the abacus and Buddhism and committing the sutras to memory. Matsuye was a Yoshi; her father taught her as the eldest daughter in lieu of a son, everything about the family and business. Matsuye married Zenkichi Yokoi in 1918 and farmed her fatherï¿½s acreage in Walnut Grove. After December 7, 1941, Matsuye recalls being fearful for her family. The eldest of her six children was twenty-two, the youngest was thirteen, and she was forty-one when the family was sent to Fresno Assembly Center in the spring of 1942, then to Poston, Arizona. The familyï¿½s Caucasian friends took care of possessions, house and farm. The Yogis did not ask for rent. In camp Matsuye made artificial flowers and knitted for her family. Two sons served in the military. When the Yogiï¿½s returned to Florin in 1945 their property was in good condition but the tractor was not working. Matsuye was among the first in 1990, at age ninety, to receive a redress letter from President G.W. Bush and her reparation check.
Engligh transcript available at California State University, Sacramento University Library
1 Tape of 1
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